Planning a Disney World vacation can be a fun and exciting experience, but it’s important to remember that even the smallest mistakes can impact your trip. To help you avoid common pitfalls, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Disney World vacation mistakes to avoid and how to fix them.
Disney Mistake #1 – Planning Alone
Walt Disney World is not your typical vacation destination. Planning a Disney vacation, especially if it is your first time, requires planning and a lot of it. When you plan the vacation on your own you might spend hours Googling, asking questions in Facebook groups, and maybe even grabbing a book. Planning your Disney vacation that way has the following problems:
- The blogs that you read may or may not be updated information. I run this blog and haven’t had time to update every article so while I try to keep updated information, Disney is always changing and experiences, menus, and strategies may be out of date.
- Your family is unique. Your family’s likes, travel styles, and preferences are unique. When people in Facebook groups answer questions they are basing their answers on their own style and family.
So, how do you avoid this mistake? Hire a vacation planner that specializes in Disney destinations. You can compare this to hiring a plumber. You can definitely watch tutorials and repair the problem yourself, but hiring a plumber that researches your exact problem and then fixes it is your best choice.
I am a concierge travel planner that specializes in Disney. When you hire a travel planner they listen to your preferences and make your vacation personal to YOU. If you are interested in hiring me for your vacation planner, I do offer a complimentary consultation. Sign up for one here.
Disney Mistake #2 – Not Booking Early Enough
Failing to book your Disney World vacation early enough can result in missed opportunities for dining or lodging. If you are on a tight budget usually the least expensive rooms get sold out first. If you want a specific resort, especially popular deluxe ones like the Polynesian, they sell out quickly as well.
So, how do you avoid this mistake? Book your room as soon as the dates open up. In the past couple of years, Disney has opened the next year in late May/June of the current year.
Disney Mistake #3 – Not Researching Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes
One of the biggest changes Walt Disney World made post-Covid is getting rid of the Fastpass System. The new “line skipping” system is Genie+ and it is no longer complimentary. So failure to fully understand it before your vacation is a big mistake. You don’t want to see your money wasted.
Genie+ requires you to pick attraction priorities and if you didn’t research rides or experiences prior to your vacation, then you are probably using Genie+ ineffectively.
So, how do you avoid this mistake? Research Genie+ starting with the Disney website and then join the Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lane Tips & Tricks Facebook group. This group keeps current with all the changes and current strategies for utilizing this sometimes complicated system.
Disney Mistake #4 – Deciding to Not Make Dining Reservations
While most vacations have a go-with-the-flow vibe, Disney usually does not. If you don’t plan ahead and book at least a few meals during your vacation then your dining options may not be as tasty or convenient to where you are. Disney World offers a wide array of themed restaurants and unique dining experiences that can enhance the overall vacation.
It’s advisable to research and book dining reservations in advance, as popular restaurants tend to fill up quickly. If you do decide that you do not want a reservation the day of, you can cancel 2 hours ahead of time without any penalty.
So, how do you avoid this mistake? When you plan a vacation with a travel planner that specializes in Disney vacations, they prevent mistake #3 from happening at all. If going planning alone, pick at least 1 sit-down meal per day and make reservations.
Disney Mistake #5 Not Researching the Disney Parks
Walt Disney World has 4 theme parks and 2 water parks. While Disney does own several intellectual properties such as Marvel and Starwars, Disney does not own or have any rights to anything Harry Potter. If you are looking for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter then Universal Studios is what you want.
Also, please research what is inside each park. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is in Hollywood Studios. You will not find anything Star Wars outside of Hollywood Studios. Frozen experiences are spread across two Disney World parks—Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Another example is that Toy Story experiences are both in Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
So, how do you avoid this mistake? By researching and understanding the layout and offerings of each park, you can plan your days effectively and make the most of your time at Disney World. Researching in advance allows you to prioritize the attractions and lands that align with your interests and helps create a well-rounded and memorable experience for everyone involved. When you plan a vacation with a travel planner that specializes in Disney vacations, they basically prevent mistake #4 from happening at all.
Disney Mistake #6 – Overplanning
One common mistake when it comes to planning a Disney World vacation is overplanning. While it’s natural to want to make the most of your trip, excessive planning can often lead to a less enjoyable experience. Overplanning can result in a rigid schedule that leaves little room for spontaneity and flexibility, which are essential elements of any vacation.
It can be tempting to meticulously plan every minute of each day, from ride times to dining reservations, but this approach can lead to unnecessary stress and disappointment if things don’t go exactly as planned. It’s important to strike a balance between having a general outline of your itinerary and allowing yourself the freedom to embrace unexpected opportunities and magical moments that Disney World has to offer. So, while some planning is necessary, remember to leave room for flexibility and simply enjoy the enchantment that awaits you at Disney.
So, how do you avoid this mistake? When you plan a vacation with a travel planner that specializes in Disney vacations, they prevent mistake #5 from happening at all. Make sure to schedule rest days and even some afternoon swim time.
Disney Mistake #7 – Skipping Parades and Live Entertainment
Disney World parades featuring classic characters are enjoyed by kids of all ages and are an essential part of the overall magical experience. By skipping these magical experiences, travelers would miss out on the opportunity to witness the true essence of Disney’s creativity and artistry.
The live entertainment not only adds an extra layer of excitement to the theme park visit but also creates cherished memories that last a lifetime. These shows and parades showcase the unparalleled talent and dedication of the performers, whose infectious energy and enthusiasm can ignite the spirits of both young and old. Ultimately, by bypassing Disney’s live entertainment, visitors would deny themselves the chance to be fully immersed in the awe-inspiring magic that makes a Walt Disney World vacation truly unforgettable.
So, how do you avoid this mistake? Make sure to schedule time for some “downtime” while you are in the park to enjoy these added magical moments. The MyDisneyExperience App will have the show times in the app.
Disney Mistake #8 – Not Using a Stroller
A common Disney World Vacation Mistake by many parents visiting Walt Disney World is not utilizing a stroller, even for older toddlers and preschoolers. The size and immersive nature of Disney parks can be overwhelming and exhausting for young children, leading to fatigue and crankiness. While it may seem tempting to rely on the little one’s walking abilities, it’s essential to consider the long distances, crowds, and constant stimulation that Disney World entails.
Even if your little one is capable of walking the whole day, providing a stroller can be a valuable asset in ensuring their comfort and preserving their energy throughout the day. Strollers serve as a sanctuary where tired little legs can rest, and children can recharge while parents navigate the park. It’s crucial to remember that Disney World is an adventure for the whole family, and by utilizing a stroller, you can create a more enjoyable experience for both your child and yourself.
Another stroller mistake is to rent a stroller from Walt Disney World. Walt Disney World strollers are uncomfortable, expensive, and can’t be used outside of the parks. You will want that stroller on the return to your resort room. Kingdom Strollers is an amazing outside stroller rental place, they have great prices and excellent customer service.
Disney Mistake #9 Not Drinking Enough Water
One significant Disney World Vacation Mistake that many people make during their Walt Disney World vacation is not drinking enough water. With the excitement and thrill of exploring the parks, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget about proper hydration. However, the combination of Florida’s hot, humid weather, long days of walking, and standing in lines can quickly lead to dehydration if water intake is neglected. Dehydration can cause fatigue, and dizziness, and even ruin the overall experience. It’s crucial to prioritize drinking water throughout the day, especially during hot weather.
So, how do you avoid this mistake? Stay hydrated! Disney World provides free water at all quick service locations and has water bottle refill stations and fountains throughout the parks, making it convenient to refill water bottles. Carrying a refillable water bottle and taking regular water breaks not only keeps you hydrated but also ensures you have the energy to make the most of your magical adventure. So, remember to stay hydrated and sip on water frequently to keep the Disney magic flowing smoothly.